2017 Audi A4

The Audi A4 is a compact sedan tasked with being all things to all people. For those seeking luxury, it has a plush interior and a comfortable ride; for tech-focused customers, it offers the latest connectivity and safety technologies; and for enthusiasts, it boasts well-tuned steering and tight handling.

Overview
New for the latest model year, the A4 is slightly longer than the previous model. It offers a relatively spacious interior for the class, especially in the rear seat area. Audi's designers also clipped the overhangs to give the car a sportier appearance, while engineers moved the engine closer to the center of the car in order to back up the appearance with an improved weight distribution.

Stylistically, the A4 is undeniably more of a careful evolution of its predecessor than a revolution. Its design is characterized by Audi's large corporate grille, sharp headlights, and a gently-sloping roof line.

The A4 offers a simple, uncluttered cabin with a driver-oriented center stack and a wide center console. It's available with Audi's Virtual Cockpit, a digital and fully configurable instrument cluster that was inaugurated by the third-generation TT. The driver can configure the high-resolution 12.3-inch screen to display a wide variety of data including navigation directions, and vital information about the car and its surroundings.

Connectivity
The A4 is available with Audi's MMI infotainment system. MMI groups the sedan's entertainment, connectivity, and navigation functions into a single unit.

Another notable high-tech feature offered on the A4 is Audi connect, a software that provides a Wi-Fi connection and lets passengers find places of interest, travel information, weather reports, fuel prices, and even access satellite images from Google Earth. Audi connect is free for six months, and a paid service after that.

Under the Hood
The A4 is exclusively available with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine. Sourced from the Volkswagen parts bin, the turbo four makes 252 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm.

Front-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission come standard, while Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system is offered at an extra cost.

The A4 hits 60 mph from a stop in 6.1 seconds. Fuel economy checks in at 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 in a mixed cycle.

Trim Level Breakdown
The A4 is offered in three trim levels called Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, respectively.

Premium models come standard with three-zone A/C, a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, a manually-adjustable steering column, power windows, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED ambient lighting, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a seven-inch screen, a ten-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, a HomeLink transceiver, a keyless ignition, a rear-view camera, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

Stepping up to the Premium Plus trim brings heated front seats with a memory function, a 755-watt sound system that plays through 19 speakers, keyless entry, parking sensors, and auto-dimming door mirrors.

Finally, the Prestige model benefits from an 8.3-inch screen, Audi's handwriting recognition technology, a six-month subscription to Audi connect, Audi's Virtual Cockpit, HD radio, a top-view camera, Audi's safety-enhancing pre-sense technology, and a heads-up display.

The list of standalone options includes all-wheel drive, metallic paint colors, rear side airbags, and wood trim on the dashboard.

Buyers can choose from a long list of option packages. Notably, the Sport Package brings sport seats for the front passengers, four-way lumbar support, a black headliner, and a sport suspension that lowers the ride height.

The Cold Weather package bundles heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Finally, most of the high-tech features offered on the Prestige trim can be added to less expensive models.

Occupant Safety
All A4 models are fitted with dual front, side thorax and side curtain airbags along with stability and traction control systems and electronic brake-force distribution with brake assist.

Key Competitors
The Audi A4 is targeted at the perennial gold standard of sports sedans, the BMW 3 Series, as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Cadillac ATS, and the Lexus IS.